Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GF3 is less than a year old, but has already been replaced by the GF5. How much better is the new 12.1-million-pixel micro four thirds camera? Read the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 review to find out
Noise, resolution and sensitivity
These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power OIS lens. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.
With its 12.1-million-pixel sensor, the resolution of the Lumix DMC-GF5 just reaches 24 on our test chart, which is to be expected. Luminance noise is visible in shadow areas at ISO 400, but at ISO 800 the noise reduction really kicks in as shadow details take on a smudged appearance, with a slight hint of chroma noise in the form of purple and green ‘bruising’.
That said, noise is fairly well controlled. At ISO 6400, the sensor still resolves to around 22 on our chart, although there is a lot of noise reduction and subsequent sharpening taking place. Similarly, shadow areas have a green and purple tint to them. At the maximum ISO 12,800 sensitivity this is worse still and there are signs of banding.
When shooting images with high sensitivities I would strongly advise shooting raw rather than JPEG, as colour noise can be easily controlled and reduced. At lower sensitivities, slightly more detail can be squeezed out of raw files compared to JPEG images, but it makes little difference to the information resolved on our test chart. Instead, images just seem slightly sharper.